Have you written out your New Year's Resolutions yet?
Better yet, have you created a Vision Board to visually show yourself what you want to accomplish in the New Year? (If you haven't done this yet, there's still time!)
One of the biggest challenges for many of my students is that they simply don't know where to start...so they end up wasting yet another year getting nowhere because they simply don't know where to begin.
It's like sitting at a desk piled with papers and you don't know what to start tackling first...so you sit there and do nothing like a deer in the headlights.
Clean that damn desk of your life!
A "clean desk" or a clean slate is what you need right now before we kick off the New Year.
If you don't know how to "clean your slate" and ready yourself for your New Goals and New Life then you need to watch these 2 videos.
You will need about 30 minutes of quite time so lock yourself in a room with a pad of paper and a pen. We're going to do this right now.
I've also included 2 download forms you can use to start building your life with. Do the exercises on the forms after the video is over.
Then, if you really are serious about changing your life immediately, go to Walmart or Michael's or Staples and get yourself a poster board. Take the time to go online and print a bunch of pictures for your Vision Board. (Type "Google images" into Google.com and then type in the keyword to any picture you want. Double-click on any picture you like and then right-click on it to print it off. Then glue it to your Vision Board. Very simple, people!)
I'm not a huge fan of affirmations or visualization but I will tell you that a Vision Board is extremely powerful. This is because, when you place it in a space of your home where you can see it every day, your subconscious starts accepting these pictures as reality without putting up a "block" or negative thought about it. It just starts accepting them. Then, slowly but surely, it'll start accepting these things as a "fact" of your life.
I don't get everything on my Vision Board every year I do one. I only get about 85% to 90% of the things on the board. Not bad! Not bad at all!
If you don't want to do the Vision Board, here's an alternative:
1) Write a list of everything that you want. Each "goal" needs to be very specific yet needs to be in 3 sentences or less. For example, here's what I may write if I want to lose weight: "I want to lose 20 lbs. by June 1st. Additionally, I want to tone up and have a bikini body. I plan on doing this by working out 4 days a week for an hour a day on average, starting immediately."
2) You can have as many goals as you want but the rule is that it must be very specific. "I want to be rich" is not specific and therefore you won't get it!
3) Place the list in a sacred place. I have this little treasure box on my top dresser in my bedroom. I put my list in this box. I make sure my daughter or no one else can get to it, look at it, or even know it's there.
4) Do not look at the list at all. I know this goes against what all those goal-setting books say (i.e. "look at your list in the morning and at night everyday) but this works! You are only allowed to look at the list one time during the year (preferably in the summer) to see where you are on the list and if you "forgot" anything that needs more attention.
5) Otherwise, keep the list in the box, don't look at it (except for that one time) and you're not allowed to take it out until next year when you are replacing it with a new list. (You'll take the old list out and use it as a reference to fill in your new list by placing the items that you didn't meet/make or by discovering which items you want to permanently discard because it's not part of what you want anymore. Maybe that Bentley really isn't what you want because you realized that having a 7-series BMW is better.)
Every time I talk to my dad on the phone, all he does is complain about his job.
Now, for those of you who know the situation between me and my dad would understand why he hasn't been employed by my company for about 2 1/2 years now. Long story short, he was stealing from me...and that's not something I'll tolerate no matter who is doing the criminal deed.
So, he now works at Lowe's. Mostly he works there for the medical benefits since he's about 6 months shy of turning 65 where, I guess, he's going to be eligible for some type of government medical benefits.
When I talk to him on the phone, he goes on and on and on about how they keep cutting his hours, how their policies are stupid, and how he "really needs to get something else going on."
ne of the last times I talked to him, I finally had to ask:
"So, what are you going to do about it then?"
Silence. No response at all.
I don't care who you are. You are in this awesome land of opportunity on the verge of an economic boom that will blow your mind. And if you can't find something to make a great living at doing, you're simply not opening your eyes and paying attention.
In fact, in the years to come, making money doing most anything will be as easy as falling off a log. But, to make any money, you have to have a means of collecting that dough which is usually done in the form of offering the public a product or service of some kind.
I tend to lien heavily into offering products because you can duplicate as many of the same products as you want (depending on demand). Services are much harder to duplicate since you have to personally (or hire people) to do the service for each customer.
Let's think about some basic facts here:
1) You live in the United States. (I'm assuming this. Perhaps you live elsewhere but the majority of my students live in the USA. Not to say that there is less opportunity for you but I'm trying to instill a point here.)
2) You speak, write, and read English. (Again this is an assumption but if I'm wrong, you won't be able to read what I'm writing to debunk this fact, thus proving my point.)
3) You have an obvious desire to do something much grander than the mediocre that the rest of menial society may be okay with. (I'm assuming you have this desire based on the fact that you signed up for these emails at some point in time.) This means that having a job or doing something you dislike with your life just isn't going to cut it for somebody like you.
And items #1 through #3 are basically all you need to have in order to start the process of starting a highly successful home-based business (offline or online).
Now, here are a few things that you'll need that I can't assume you have or possess but they are extremely necessary if you are going to actually do something to move forward on this desire:
1) Motivation to succeed. I can't teach you to have this. You either have it or you don't. If you don't...well, good luck to you. I believe this is the point where we should part ways because no matter how much highly effective money-making material you learn, you'll never put any of it to use. You can, however, try to create a level of motivation to reach the "just enough" point to actually move forward. The only way I can possibly suggest you do this is by creating a scenario in your head of"how will your life look in 5 years if you don't do something else?" And if the 5-year picture in your head scares the crap out of you, maybe that'll lift you to the level of fire-under-your-ass motivation that you need to move forward. I don't know. (If you're as motivated as a wet dishrag then try that visualized scenario in your head and let me know if it motivates you to do anything more with your life.)
2) Willingness to learn the things you don't know. It really bothers me that some of my students immediately scoff at the idea of building their own website, especially since there has never been a better time in all of history when it's actually been easier to build a website! When you start whining about doing something, assuming it'll be much harder than it really is, and automatically start throwing up a wall to learning something new then you're doomed from the start. No, it's not an option for you to hire someone else to do it. Not that it's because it's not an option (because it is) but because you lose control of the entire process when you hire someone. To me, if you want to throw in the towel before you begin by making the false assumption that you "can't" learn something (probably because you don't want to try) and then you want to pawn the responsibility off onto someone else's shoulders to do for you then, well...maybe that person should be making all the money from the website they'll be building for you instead of you making the money off it. Seems only fair, right? With the amount of online video tutorials and customer service center help for website building that there is available today, only someone who is lazy and stubborn will choose to divert the responsibility to someone else. In which case, don't make money then.
Stick with your day job if you're not willing to take the risk and try something new.
3) Willingness to take a risk. Risks don't have to be "do or die." They can be so minimal that it's actually a greater risk to your future to keep living the way you're living now than to do something different. (Most people will never see it that way though.) What's the risk to decide to start a home-based business on the side, work the business on the weekends, and scrape together a few hundred bucks to start the business since you have such minimal overhead? What's the risk of "wasting" every Saturday and Sunday till June until you can build a successful online business that will potentially be kicking out $20,000 a month in your pocket in pure profits? (Oh, damn. All those useless televised sporting events you may have to miss out on to potentially start making about $250,000 a year, in your pocket after all expenses are paid out. How could you possibly even entertain making such a sacrifice? Those people who live in 3rd world countries have nothing on you and the sacrifices you have to make now, do they?)
As you know, 2014 is right around the corner.
And I can't wait!
Because I have this feeling in my gut that this coming year is going to be extraordinary. It's going to be the "kick off" year to many financially prosperous years to come.
But only if you have some type of money-making gig going on.
Otherwise...it's just going to be "business as usual" for you if you don't get off your ass and start doing something new and different.
Over the past week I've been leaking some credit repair secrets to help you get some of those nasty hard-to-remove delinquencies off your personal credit reports.
And I promised that I'd tell you about one final option for you to use in order to get the "impossible" that's not coming off...off for good!
It's very rare that it has to come to this...using the Big Guns. But it happens. Especially for things that just aren't coming off your personal credit reports that you really need to get off to boost up your FICO score.
So...what are the Big Guns, exactly?
It's actually quite simple.
The final element to use to get a stubborn delinquency is to file a small claims lawsuit.
Now, this won't work for a couple of things:
This will work for everything else, even a judgment.
Now, as you know, you are limited in most counties to file a small claims lawsuit for a maximum of $5,000. In some counties, as long as it's filed against a company or organization, you can file as much as $7,500. Find your maximum small claims lawsuit amount against a company or organization in your county. It doesn't matter where the creditor is located provided that you live in the county where you will be filing the lawsuit. After all, this is where the "damage" has been done (where you reside) so you can legally file where you are.
In many counties now you can file your small claims lawsuit online, making this process super easy to pull off.
So, who are you suing?
You start off suing the creditor. Yes, that's right. You are going to sue the creditor.
Well, suing them for what?
Glad you asked.
You'll be suing them for the damage they are inflicting on your credit report by continuing to report misinformation and inaccurate information on your personal credit report. You'll also be demanding that they remove the delinquent mark on your credit report by giving them 1 of 2 options: (1) complete removal of the delinquent account, or (2) update to show account is current and has never been delinquent.
For this, the lawsuit will be in the amount of the maximum amount possible and allowable in your residing county. This amount may be $5,000 or $7,500. It may even be $10,000. Check with your county.
Now, this is the great part: the creditor will be forced to come to court from where ever they are located. So, if they are 3,000 miles away, guess what? They are hopping on an airplane to come to court.
And they don't want to do that.
Once they are served with the lawsuit, they will have to decide whether they want to come to court on the date specified or conform to the demands in the lawsuit which will be to (1) completely remove the delinquent account off all 3 credit reports, or (2) update the account to show that it's current and has never been delinquent.
Most of the time they will give into your demands, especially if they are nowhere near your residing county.
Now, here's the tricky part:
Many times counties have changed their serving requirements for a small claims lawsuit. In the olden days, you used to be able to send a certified letter with a return receipt (green) card. (In some counties, this is still acceptable.) However, in other counties, they will expect that the other party be physically served by a disinterested third party.
This is actually very easy to pull off. You simply type in "[City/State] Process Servers" in Google and you'll find more than a handful of process servers in any given area. Once you contact them, they'll ask that you mail them the documents for service along with a form that you can get through your court that the server has to sign, verifying the physical service of the documents.
Now, what happens if they are served and they don't show up to court?
It means that you get a default judgment against them and you get to collect the money you sued them for. So, congratulations but you may be $5,000+ richer at this point! (This is what you hope will happen, by the way. If this happens, they have to give you the money plus you turn around and show the judgment to the credit reporting bureaus who will then have to remove the delinquency or face the same lawsuit themselves!)
Lawsuits may seem like they are a drag to do but they are rather powerful, much easier to do than you think, and can definitely get the tough stuff removed off your credit report.
Why can't you do this with a bankruptcy or a foreclosure?
A bankruptcy is usually in a county courthouse. This means you'd have to threaten (and ultimately sue) a county court which...you can't do. They are legally exempt.
You could try to file a lawsuit for a foreclosure but usually these amounts are so high (tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on your credit) that a piddly $5,000 lawsuit will do nothing to threaten or move the creditor to do anything.
However, you could try this route, especially if the creditor is far away from you. This means they'd still have to jump on an airplane and defend their position. There is a chance that they won't and that it'll be removed or updated.
Credit is everything, as you probably have figured out by now...especially after our economic nosedive and our recent banking calamity, banks need to ensure that you're credit worthy for a loan, credit card, or mortgage. And if your personal credit report doesn't represent your credit worthiness then you're screwed.
Okay, here's the final bit of advice on what to do if you have a delinquency or judgment on your personal credit report and you can't get it off by using the first 2 techniques I was telling you about over the course of the past several days.
You can use something called "Restrictive Endorsement." It's a very powerful tool that a lot of people know nothing about.
Here's the deal in a nutshell:
You notify your creditor by mail that you will be sending $X amount for XXXX account in 14 days from today's date. You will also be writing on the back of the check that the creditor understands and agrees that by cashing the check, they agree that the account XXXX has been financially satisfied as payment in full and that the account will be updated as such.
In 14 days, you will mail the check. Make sure that you write on the back in the endorsement section: "By cashing this check for $[DOLLAR AMOUNT], [NAME OF CREDITOR] agrees that account [NUMBER] is paid in full, is fully satisfied, and will be immediately updated to reflect this."
If it's a collection agency for another creditor, you'll write: "By cashing this check for $[DOLLAR AMOUNT], [NAME OF COLLECTION AGENCY] agrees that [ORIGINAL CREDIT] account [NUMBER] has been paid in full, is fully satisfied, and will be immediately updated to reflect this."
Please note that your account will be updated to show "paid" or "settled" but will not be removed. It will improve your credit score and will stop all collection activity but isn't as great as having something completely removed. (Sometimes you have to make sacrifices if all else fails.)
Also note that the dollar amount you send to them must be reasonable. Don't offer a $5 restrictive endorsement check when you owe the creditor $5,000. That's not reasonable. Reasonable is between 5% and 10% of the original debt.
Furthermore, I strongly recommend you don't send a check out of your own bank account otherwise if they want to be jerks, they can lien your bank account with the proper court judgment. Don't give them your banking information to make this easy for them to do.
Instead, give them a cashier's check (from a different bank you don't normally bank with) or, even better, a postal money order.
Once the money order is cashed, make sure you get a copy of it with the restrictive endorsement on the back so you have a record to have it removed.
Some important things to know:
1) Restrictive endorsement is not legal in all 50 states. It's not legal in New York, Ohio, South Dakota, and West Virginia. This means that if you reside in any of those states, you can't use restrictive endorsement. If the creditor is located in that state, they may claim that it's not legal. However, according to credit and banking laws, all creditors and lenders must abide by all states they operate and do business in. So, even if they are located in New York, for example and you're located in California, for example, they are still required to abide by California state law if you reside there, even if they are based in New York otherwise they are not allowed legally to lend money or credit in any individual state where a customer may reside if they aren't willing to conform to the state laws in that individual state.
Therefore, don't fall for the whole, "We aren't a restrictive endorsement state." Especially if you don't reside in a non-restrictive endorsement state as mentioned above.
2) Each state has different ways and requirements in which to use restrictive endorsement so make sure you check before doing it. Some require a letter to the creditor before sending the check. Others do not. Some require a longer time than 14 days for a legal notice beforehand. Make sure you check before doing it.
3) As already mentioned, don't write a check out of your own personal bank account. Consider a business checking account, a friend's bank account, a spouse's bank account (who isn't on the original credit account) or a Postal Money Order.
4) Make sure you write what's indicated above in the endorsement section of the check. Be sure to refer to the exact account number and the creditor account you are paying off. Also indicate that by cashing (not "signing" but "cashing"...since most companies never sign a check anyway).
5) Make sure that you send the notification letter with some trackable type of mail to prove when the creditor received the letter in case it is challenged later.
Once you send your letter (with date proof of when they received it via USPS tracking) to the credit bureaus along with a copy of the cashed check, you'll wait a few weeks to see if they've updated your credit reports. If they haven't then you simply send a copy of the letter, the cashed check clearly showing what the endorsement section shows, and it should be updated as a "paid" account as long as your state laws reflect that this is legal in your home state.
A couple days ago I wrote about how to remove a judgment on your credit report.
But what if, after doing the strategy I laid out (or if you've already repeatedly disputed it to the point where the credit bureaus refuse to investigate it again), it still doesn't come off your credit reports?
Here's a little nugget of information:
By the time a creditor (in the case of my example, Capital One) puts a judgment on your credit report, 2 things have happened:
1) They've put a lot of time, effort, money, and hassle into attempting to collect from you whereas they felt their final recourse was a judgment.
2) They don't really expect to receive any money from you since it's reached this point of time and expense on their part; threatening legal action against you apparently has never gotten to you and to them you're considered a "lost cause."
Knowing this information gives you a powerful advantage when you do want to have the judgment removed off your credit. This gives you what I call "bargaining power" since they completely wrote you off at this point anyway.
Now, a couple of things I should mention:
1) A judgment typically remains on your credit report anywhere from 7 to 10 years. If you're already "deep" into having the judgment on your credit report (i.e. it's been there for 6 years, say) then do nothing. Just "wait it out" and let it fall off. If it doesn't fall off at the 7-year mark, dispute it. From my experience, the only thing that stays on a credit report for 10 years is a bankruptcy.
2) If you're not deep on the judgment and it just happened, as in Ronnie's case, and you want to clean up your credit to raise your FICO to get your business credit rolling so you can start tapping into significant lines of credit then you're going to want to consider negotiating to get that judgment off.
Only you know if you fall into #1 or #2 above with the judgment(s) in question.
Now, before you consider picking up the phone to negotiate anything (since you don't want to send them a letter), you will need to know 2 things:
1) How much is the judgment?
2) How much can you pay to satisfy the judgment? (This can be as little as 5% or 10% of the amount owed so don't think it has to be half or more.)
There's a little-known secret called "Pay to Delete." This essentially means that you will call your creditor and make an arrangement to where they will accept a smaller "settlement" amount on your debt. In return, they will delete the account off your credit report as if it never existed.
Most creditors will deny they can do this. They will state that legally they cannot completely delete an account but that they can update your account as "paid." Don't let them fool you. They can, in fact, delete an account if you pay an agreed settlement amount. Don't fall for an "updated" yet "paid" status because it will still show that you had a delinquent account even though it's paid.
You are aiming for a complete delete. You need to be forceful and stern, letting your creditor know that since you already took the hit on your credit report with the delinquency or judgment, they can't do any more damage to your credit so they need to choose if they want a small settlement amount for a deletion...or not. It's their choice.
If they choose to delete the account when you pay a small fraction of what is owed, this needs to be in writing on their letterhead before you will pay them a single cent.
Also, many times after you make the payment, they won't delete the account or live up to their agreement (or they will be very slow with updating your account). However, that's okay. Once you have their agreement in writing and your cashed check, simply send those documents over to the credit reporting bureau and the account will be immediately deleted. Case closed.
What if your creditor won't agree to a "pay to delete" arrangement?
There is one last thing you can do to have a delinquency or judgment permanently removed.
And I'll tell you more about it in a couple of days!
See you at the top!
.S. On a personal note, today's my mom's birthday. She'd be 61 today had she survived brain cancer. Happy Birthday, Mom! I miss you so much!
The other day Ronnie asked judgment he received on his credit report a couple of months ago. Even worse, this creditor (Capital One...one of the more vicious creditors out there) had taken money out of his bank account to collect on this new judgment.
This was a judgment and a credit account that I was completely unaware of. (We live separate lives so there's a lot of things I don't know.) Apparently he had been fighting with Capital One for years, unbeknownst to myself. He asked about how he could start the process of negotiating with Capital One to have this judgment removed.
I told him, "Don't negotiate anything. Not yet anyway!"
The first thing I asked him was if he was ever given legal notice of the impending judgement. By law, all creditors must give you notice that there is an impending judgement 30 days before they file a judgement against you. If they fail to do this, they are in violation of federal law, Rule 77; Notice of an Order or Judgment.
The second thing I asked was how much the judgment was and how much they took out of the bank account to use to satisfy the judgment. It turned out that they had hit a personal savings account that he was in the process of closing that barely had any money in it and it didn't satisfy even 10% of the amount they claimed he owed on the judgment.
Here are the facts:
1) He was never notified about the impending judgment as required by law.
2) Being that they took some money to satisfy his debt, this would not immediately reflect on his credit report as a payment being made, therefore the information being reported on his credit report would be inaccurate and thus ripe for removal.
How should he deal with this situation?
Unfortunately, calling their legal department right away to resolve the issue is the lastthing he should be doing at this point.
The first thing he needs to do is dispute this judgment on his credit reports with all 3 credit reporting bureaus. This dispute will be based on their reporting inaccurate information due to the fact that the amount Capital One states he owes isn't the same as what he truly owes due to their taking money out of his account.
In about 4 weeks after sending off the dispute letters to the credit bureaus, the next course of action for Ronnie would be to send a certified letter to Capital One demanding proof of his receipt of the impending judgment 30 days before the judgment was entered, as per Rule 77. Furthermore, he would ask for proof that this credit account actually belongs to him including a signed credit application as well as other supporting documentation including credit card slips with his signature, etc.
Why not wait until after the investigative results come back from the credit bureaus?
Judgments rarely ever just fall off because vicious companies like Capital One will be "on it" the second they get the investigation request from each credit reporting bureau. If they have departments full of lawyers willing to not only waste court resources to file a judgment against you for a couple thousand dollars and take the time to painstakingly research where you do your banking just to end up with a paltry couple hundred dollars, they're certainly not going to suddenly drop the ball on the process by refusing to respond to an investigation request by any (and all) of the 3 credit reporting bureaus.
In fact, if you're in more of a hurry to get this crap off your credit report, you won't even wait the entire 4 weeks to send Capital One a letter. You'll wait only 2 weeks because by this point, Capital One will have already been notified of your dispute and they're already in the process of responding to the credit bureaus (if they haven't already by this time).
To be clear, it's important that you send Capital One (or whatever lame creditor put the judgment on you) a letter via certified mail. This means you are getting their wet signature on a little green card that will be mailed back to you once they sign off on receiving your letter.
So...what happens when Capital One sends you their bullsh** from their legal department giving you all of your requested documents and their "proof" of your account?
By this time you'll have received some type of response from the credit bureaus about how they've completed the investigation, blah, blah, blah...and that the crap will stay on your credit report for the time being.
By now hopefully the initial 30 days have passed because now you can file another dispute with the credit bureaus on this same account.
This time, when you send a letter to the credit bureaus, you'll be sending them a copy of the the certified signed card (and not the original) with a letter stating that the creditor refused to give you the information you requested in your letter to them. (Make sure you send a copy of that letter that you sent to the creditor.)
Here's the deal:
Even if the creditor did send you any one thing you asked for in the letter, it's unlikely that they sent you everything you asked for.
To be clear, here's what you're asking for:
1) Proof of your notification of impending judgment, as per the legal requirements of Rule 77.
2) Proof that you had an account with them in the form of a signed credit application and signed credit slips/receipts.
3) Proof of the exact amount they are claiming you owe including proof that they have given credit(s) of any amounts they've garnished or seized (if they have, in fact, done this); you also want proof that they've applied these payments to the amount they claim you owe.
Like I said, it's completely unlikely that they'll give you 100% of what you're asking for because it's impossible for them to drum up all this information in the very limited time frame they have. So, when you communicate with the credit bureaus in reference to not receiving what you asked for, you're not going to indicate that you received anything from them at all in response to your request. (You won't lie and say you received nothing but you won't indicate that they sent anything either; you'll indicate that "the creditor failed to provide the information as outlined" in the letter to them.)
Once this letter goes out to the credit bureaus (after the 30-day investigative period expires with the creditor; this will be 30 days from the date that they signed for your letter), you have to wait 30 days for the second investigation to occur and be completed.
Hopefully you will have a favorable response which will be that they will remove the judgment off your credit report.
In a couple of days, I'm going to tell you how to get this judgment off your credit report if you're unable to get a favorable removal after this second investigative period is completed.
By the way, now is the time to get all of your disputes out in the mail. Dispute every delinquency on your credit reports with the credit bureaus. The holidays are the best times to dispute because the bureaus are more lax in getting the investigations done on time, especially since creditors tend to drop the ball during this period due to having fewer employees on staff, more days off because of the holidays, etc. And federal law states that the credit bureaus must do the investigation in 30 days regardless of holidays, weekends, etc.
I feel like I'm a different person...like some alien took over the normal Type A Monica Main's body and replaced her spirit with that of a Buddhist monk. And this all happened last weekend! (Imagine that!)
My first strange revelation happened last week when I was playing a really lame iPad app/game called Cook Dash. (Some of you may know of this lame game and how addicting it can be for "mindless" entertainment. We all need that once in awhile.) Since I've essentially mastered the game, I've been going into something called "challenge mode" where I've found myself so good at the game that I can't lose.
And that really sucks!
I've been playing the game for about 4 days in the past week, wasting a total of approximately 9 hours on this game and I can't lose because I've gotten soproficient at the game.
Now I'm dissatisfied with the game because the challenge and excitement iscompletely gone.
Then it dawned on me. This is how life is. It's a game. And when you win all the time, the interest in the game is gone. (Remember the Twilight Zone episode when the mobster died and thought he ended up in Heaven? He started winning all the time, everything came to him easy, and he had to work toward getting nothing because it was all handed to him. He then realized he was in hell because the challenge of the game was completely gone. And he was miserable.)
The prospect of losing (or the threat of danger) makes anything challenging and exciting. Without it, everything in your life will begin to suck. And bad.
It's like going to a movie. You don't go to see a movie about a fat guy laying on the beach all day, getting even fatter with buttered lobster brought to him by a guy named Ramon on a silver platter, and puffing on a cigar while drinking Patron, do you? Imagine watching that for 90 minutes. (That movie would suck!) Or do you go to a movie to see the hero get thrown into some dangerous situation that he is able to (barely) overcome? (Now that's exciting!) Or the underdog doormat guy who is able to become wealthy, popular, a winner, or whatever by overcoming his shortcomings?
When you get to a certain level in life where you've gotten so good at something and it becomes boring, second-nature, and "hum-drum," your soul will start to erode away (and eventually die) unless you begin pushing the envelope on yourself again. And to push yourself could be as simple (and dangerous) as taking up tightrope walking to walking out on your boss and starting your own business. Today.
Of course, it doesn't have to be career-oriented at all. It doesn't have to be something about making money. It doesn't have to be a dangerous activity. It doeshave to push you to be a better and different person, even if it's just a little.
Even if it's taking that cooking class at your local college...the one you were afraid to enroll in because you don't want to meet new people. Or submitting that manuscript to that publisher. Or deciding to become a photographer.
Constantly be striving. (Striving isn't struggling. Striving is walking along your path through your personal journey to your destination.)
Arriving sucks, especially if you were waiting to see the Wizard of Oz, just to realize it's a meek dude behind a curtain. (Because that's basically what "arriving" is...a suck-fest at the end. Or some lame dude behind a curtain...or your ego hiding behind things to show the world you're worthy because you're an empty shell of a person inside.)
When you strive, don't do it for the moment of arrival, thinking that moment is a rolled out red carpet with trumpets blowing and people throwing handfuls of cash at you while yelling your name. Because it's never all that. Even if it is, you won't enjoy it. While you're walking the red carpet, you'll just be too mentally preoccupied thinking about how you can get more cash, more cars, more diamonds, more, more, more...and you'll miss the moment anyway!
Onto my second revelation...
This morning when I was walking my daughter to school, I was acutely aware of all the rich snobs driving around in their overpriced cars, looking completely miserable and mentally preoccupied, nearly running over the little kids trying to cross the street because their upcoming meeting (or whatever) is so f****** important. (I used to be one of those people so I know what they're all thinking.)
There's this older Asian man. He's the crossing guard. He's always very polite. He wishes me a good morning each day. He always compliments people on what they're wearing or tries to make "mini" conversations as people cross the street. He genuinely tries to brighten people's days.
Yet to the rich snobs, he's completely insignificant in the chain of capitalism and greed. To me, he's significant in just making people walk a little taller or give them a pep in their step because he took a moment to show that he cares by throwing out a compliment or a good morning here and there, especially in a world that is cold and uncaring to most. He's also very significant in making sure the rich snobs don't roll over our kids with their S-class Mercedes' and Land Rovers. (Trust me, they wouldif given the opportunity.)
Today I was in a drive-through getting an iced coffee. There was this Hispanic man standing there cleaning the windows on the outside of the restaurant. As I grabbed my coffee and was about to take off, he waved at me. I waved back and smiled. It warmed my heart.
Yet again, according to the rich snobs of society, this man would be completely insignificant in the pecking order of our capitalistic society yet he made me smile...and probably dozens of other people this morning. Insignificant? Not really. Not when you're making the world a better place, even if it's offering a gentle wave or a hello.
Why am I telling you all of this?
I've come to the conclusion that the majority of the people who follow my work and who participate in my groups, seminars, courses, etc. are all doing it for an end result. That end result, of course, is wealth and financial freedom, right?
I was you at one point. I jumped into the business of being an investor and an entrepreneur for the sole purpose of getting rich.
And I got rich. A few times over, actually.
With each time I hit my "peak" in my life, I found myself dissatisfied because I though something was supposed to "happen" when I got wealthy to a certain point. Now, I know this sounds ridiculous but you're all thinking the same thing, too. You don't know what's supposed to happen but you probably think life is going to be awesome and an endless whirl of cocktail parties while never worrying about money again. You think it's going to be the beach party that never stops or...who knows? We all have something in our little imagination about what it means to arrive financially.
But it never happens as you picture it. Something else happens.
You become the old guy driving the S-class Mercedes, looking preoccupied, worried, pissed off, and harried while nearly running over a 3rd grader because you were looking at emails on your iPhone to see if that contract came in.
You become the ass**** who looks down at people working at a fast food establishment because you think you're better than him due to the fact that you just bought a new Porsche.
You become the neighbor who has to compete with other neighbors on home upgrades just to show that you're just as good (or better) than they are. And you do this because you feel this is the only way you can show others you're worthy and significant.
You become the rich guy who has a drinking problem, has a whole medicine cabinet full of prescriptions to deal with a wide variety of ailments brought on by stress and anger, and none of your family can deal with you anymore so you're lucky to get a phone call a month from your kids who live way far away from you. (This is when you realize it wasn't worth it. Unfortunately, this is when it's too late.)
You become the person who is not happy with what you have because you have to make more money. In fact, that's all your mind becomes. You become preoccupied with money and success that nothing else becomes relevant. Even worse, you look at most other people as if they are peons and losers, especially if they are homeless or work menial service jobs.
You become trapped in the body of this person who wasn't you when you were born. You become trapped in the body and life of someone else. Once you are trapped in the snare, your only escape (in most cases) is death (unless you make a realization).
When I first moved into my new neighborhood (of rich snobs), I felt disconnected from everyone. (I still do, don't get me wrong.) I found myself having problems identifying with my environment.
And then I realized why.
It was because I was one of them and didn't want to admit that I was. (I was "better," after all.) I found myself realizing that I was just like those very saps that I found myself detesting.
How I was I any different? How could I say I was spiritually better when I was doing the same f****** things? Running to the office, preoccupied, harried, miserable, and thinking that closing one more deal would be the moment I'd find happiness. (The happiness never came after that "one more deal" because there was always the next"one more deal" then I'd be happy.) Yelling at "menial" customer service reps on the phone when I wasn't getting my way. Constantly thinking about what I could do to increase my wealth and thinking about nothing else, including being with my daughter even when I was with her. (Mentally I was always somewhere else and never in the "here and now.")
How could I say I more spiritually balanced than they were as I drove down the street with my $105,000 BMW in an effort to stay relevant with my shallow neighbors? Or what about the Navigator with the chrome rims I have sitting in my garage that I never drive?
What the f*** is that for?
Something really snapped inside of me last week. I went from being "one of them" to being an observer of everything around me including observing myself. Instead of being upset, I found myself laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. (Okay, I wasn't really laughing hysterically. That would be weird, especially if I was by myself.)
And then we get to the revelation about fear...
Fear is what holds all of us back. We fear not making it, not winning, not making the grade, not getting in, and not becoming successful.
And with this fear, sometimes we end up doing jack nothing. (Why bother if there's a chance we can't be successful doing it, right?)
But that "fear" is the part of the game equation that makes the journey a challenge...thus fun! (Remember the mobster who died and went to hell?)
I can't believe it but, for myself, I came to a realization that I wish would have come 20 years ago. (Unfortunately it takes experiences, life, time, and aging to figure things out.)
What's the realization?
Without the notion of "what if I don't make it" in the equation of pursuing anything, you have nothing meaningful of the actual attainment when (and if) you do make it.
For example, imagine being a kid in high school and you're trying out for the football team. Of course there will be fear. "What if I don't make the cut? What if I'm not good enough?" But when you do make it in, the attainment is meaningful and fulfilling because there was always that possibility that you wouldn't have made it. Therefore, your attainment is satisfying and fulfilling to your soul. It has meaning.
When you settle in a life that lacks challenge because it's the "safe" road to take, you may as well lay down and die now because your life has lost meaning and purpose. If you stopped doing things because of the fear of "not making it" or "not being successful" then you've stopped living.
If the only reason you're taking courses, seminars, and mentorships is for the end result (financial security) without finding enjoyment and fulfillment in the process of doing the business then you'll be a failure no matter what, even if you do find financial success one day. You'll arrive at your financial destination just to sign up for a prescription of Prozac once you realize that the financial attainment did nothing foryou and who you are. And it certainly didn't make you happy at the "end" if it didn't make you happy and fulfilled during the journey of it.
Success is not stocking up on loads of money. Success is not driving a $100,000 car to show other people you're a worthy cool dude who's better than they are. (People don't look at you like you're worthy, by the way. They look at you like you're an ass**** or they're just plain jealous; neither type of reaction that you're going for, I assure you.)
Success is living a life that makes you truly happy, inside and out!
So, what do you do?
Find things you can do that you have an interest in. Find things you want to do to challenge yourself with that would be fun for you.
Don't do anything just for the money otherwise I'd suggest taking to a life of prostitution or drug dealing if it's just for the money. Do things in business and your career that you like. It shouldn't be "work" but rather something that's fun and challenging.
And, by golly, it may actually not have anything to do with real estate investing or anything else that I teach. Or maybe it does. This is the time where you need to figure that out.
You have to enjoy the game and the process. When you do, the fear falls away. Things will just come to you (i.e. success, wealth, happiness, etc.). You'll be a person with your own identity rather than having to keep up with society's shallow status symbols. You'll be balanced.
And this can all happen as fast as right now to whenever you decide you want to make that mental shift (which can be 50 years from now). Because eventually you'llhave to make that mental shift otherwise your future will be a meaningless miserable shuffle in struggle, attainment, and constantly wanting more.
I have a recommendation for you. There's a movie (documentary) out there called Finding Joe. If you really are ready for a change, I recommend you seek out the movie and get it. I think Amazon is out of stock right now but you may be able to order it for delivery when they get it back in stock. It's an amazing, life-changing video. It's not for everyone but it's for those of you who know what I'm talking about and you're ready for a major mind-altering shift because you know what you've been doing up to this point in your life hasn't been working. I get no profits or proceeds from this movie. It's just a recommendation I'm making to you because I've recommended it to so many people and those who have watched it have changed their lives because of it.
I just finished my last Real Estate Boot Camp Seminar. As we roll into 2014, I'll be focusing on Aggressive Income Strategies.
Now that my last seminar event is over, I feel a sense of completion, accomplishment and pride for showing so many students how to invest in passive income cash flow real estate starting with nothing.
Several of my students who were at this event had shared stories with me about how they finally bought an apartment building after being a student of mine for the past handful of years.
And that makes me happy! Ecstatic actually!!
What this final event did was allow me to reveal the last little few real estate investing secrets that have just come into play (including getting 100% LTV financing, which is a brand new program) that my students absolutely must know in order to grab onto their passive income real estate deals through 2014 and 2015 (before you'll have to hang it up for awhile).
I also discussed (in great detail) the top cities in the United States (and there are about 20 of them) where you should invest. (Some of these cities will surprise you.)
I also revealed a blow-by-blow step-by-step detailed plan on exactly which types of asset classes (real estate) you should be investing in which includes multifamily apartment building investing.
I don't think I've ever been this succinct and precise when laying out an investing plan with my students. Not because I didn't want to before but because I've become so damn good at training and teaching over the past couple of years.
So...the fat lady sung. (I'm not fat and I can't sing worth a sh**...but you get the point, I hope.) This is it. The remaining treasures in Monica Main's treasure chest have been revealed.
And these treasures (secrets) are the ones that can make you a real estate millionaire by the end of 2015.